The primary goal of FORA’s ED effort, as referenced in the 1997 Base Reuse Plan (“BRP”) and 2012 Reassessment Report (“RR”), is to assist the three-county (Monterey/Santa Cruz/San
Benito) region in general and FORA jurisdictions specifically in economic recovery from the employment, business, and other economic losses resulting from the departure of soldiers,
civilians, and families after the base closure. BRP projections for full recovery include: 37,000 replacement population; 15-18,000 jobs to replace military employment and soldiers; 11-12,000 homes (6160 new units); and approximately 3 million sf commercial/office. Progress towards these targets to date include: 14,600 population; 4500 FTE jobs; 5191 homes (1000 new + 4191 reused); and 660k sf commercial.
FORA’s ongoing ED strategy is based on the following key components:
- Build upon Regional Economic Strengths (Agriculture, Tourism, Higher Education/Research, Military Missions)
- Pursue New & Retain Existing Businesses/Enterprises.
- Engage Internal & External Stakeholders (i.e. FORA Jurisdictions, California State University Monterey Bay (”CSUMB”), University of California Santa Cruz (“UCSC”), Monterey Bay Economic Partnership (“MBEP”), Monterey County Business Council (“MCBC”), Monterey Peninsula Chamber of Commerce (MPCC), and others).
- Develop and Maintain Information Resources.
- Report Progress Metrics.
Per ongoing Board direction and following the strategy outlined above, staff continues to make progress on a number of key projects. The following notes summarize and highlight progress
since the April 7, 2017 Economic Development Quarterly Update:
- Business Recruitment/Retention. FORA staff continues efforts to both respond to and broadly refer inquiries from businesses/contacts interested in location or relocation and reuse of former Fort Ord real estate. Developer engagement in recent months include interest in affordable housing, hospitality, and light industrial/commercial projects. Staff has contributed to the successful reconstitution of the Central Coast Marketing Team (“CCMT”) as a regional business attraction/retention organization. Efforts are underway to develop a new CCMT website – TeamCentralCoast.org, which will integrate the use of OppSites software as an attraction/retention resource. Efforts are also underway to prepare/package site marketing content, and strategies in collaboration with partners. Staff continues working with relevant jurisdiction staff and elected officials where appropriate to advance new and emerging opportunities.
- UCMBEST. The vision for UCMBEST as a regional R&D tech innovation and regional employment center has yet to be realized. Even after 21 years of UC ownership only a small fraction of new venture and employment opportunities exist on the lands conveyed for that purpose. FORA has a critical interest in seeing progress made on the UCMBEST vision. To that end, Executive Officer Michael Houlemard and Economic Development Manager, Josh Metz have taken active roles in convening relevant stakeholders to infuse the effort with new energy and craft a viable route forward. Advancing existing planning efforts to conclusion and entitlement for future sale, lease or other transfer, as well as exploring a wide range of future ownership/management structures are key areas of staff/stakeholder focus. Vice Chancellor Scott Brandt provided a UCSC-UCMBEST Status Report at the April 7, 2017 Board meeting. Since then Mr. Metz and Mr. Houlemard have continued to represent FORA in bi-weekly status update calls with UC Santa Cruz and Monterey County representatives. Focus of the planning group includes: Moving West Campus parcels to auction in Q2 2017; Completing North Central Campus sub-division map and specific plan (City of Marina) – then water and environmental – targeting completion in Q4 2017; advancing East Campus mixed-use development planning with UCSC and County.
- Start-up Challenge Monterey Bay/CSUMB Collaboration. FORA continues to support expansion of regional entrepreneurship through support of CSUMB and Start-up Challenge Monterey Bay. This multi-day competitive pitch event cultivates entrepreneurship skills and identifies promising start-up concepts. Registration for the 2017 Startup Challenge closed Monday March 13 with a total of 90 completed applications (49 Venture Division, 29 Main Street Division, 12 Student Division), which represents a 9% increase over 2016 numbers (82 total: 40 Venture Division, 34 Main Street Division, 8 Student Division). Qualifying round pitches were presented April 8, 2017. Final round pitches and Venture showcase were held Friday May 12 at the CSUMB BIT Building. FORA continues working with campus partners to grow Startup Challenge quantity and quality; supporting entrepreneur and developer efforts to realize new coworking facilities; supporting campus economic development staff in realizing goals; and supporting success of CSUMB-SBDC. New collaboration with CSUMB faculty and staff include: contributing to the creation of a StartupMB 3.0 web strategy, to facilitate continuous engagement and growth of the Startup Monterey Bay information resources and community; contributing to planning for an October 6, 2017 Water Forum, to be held at the Seaside Embassy Suites; and continuing collaboration with planning and economic development initiatives including R&D Business park, recreation, and residential resources. The sustained growth in relationships and mutually beneficial projects and initiatives highlights the value being generated from a close working relationships with the faculty and staff at CSUMB. Advancing engagement with Association of University Research Parks.
- Community Engagement/Jurisdiction Support: The MBEP staff and Workforce Committee in partnership with the Bright Futures program at CSUMB recently launched Career Coach Monterey Bay as a new web resource to help students and the community at large navigate career planning. This valuable web resource provides tools to explore specific career pathways, required education, salary information and links directly to posted vacancies. This new resource enables students to plan for specific careers to close the gap between job seekers and employers. Staff continues serving as a technical and information resource to support jurisdiction economic development initiatives. Specific examples include: participating in Main Gate RFP review and developer recruitment; working with City of Marina staff to advance economic development projects; continuing support and engagement with City of Salinas staff in agtech sector growth efforts. Recent public presentations include Salinas Valley Chamber of Commerce and the Fund for Homeless Women in Pacific Grove.
Housing Starts: New residential development at the Dunes on Monterey Bay, Sea Haven (previously Marina Heights), and East Garrison continues to gain momentum. A summary of CFD fees
collected over the past 3 years and projected for FY 17 /18 is -provided below:
|Fiscal Year (FY)||14/15||15/16||16/17||17/18 (projected)|
|Total CFD Fees||$1,982,699||$5,202,626||$7,329,706||$6,149,946|
Jobs: Staff conducted the 2017 Jobs Survey during Q1 2017, through email surveys, followed by phone calls, then site visits. Initial results indicate a total of 4989 jobs (3576
Full-time Equivalent (“FTE”) and 1413 part-time (“PT”)) on the former Fort Ord. These results indicate a 14% increase in total jobs from 2015 (1 % growth in FTE and and 49% growth in PT jobs). Factors affecting these numbers include 18 new employers to the region, and 27 previously un-reported businesses. Most new employers are located at the Marina Dunes Fast Casual Restaurants. In addition, we estimate there are in excess of 10,000 students (7122 at CSUMB). The full Jobs Report was released during Q2 2017.